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Review

Epstein Barr Virus Exploits Genetic Susceptibility to Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk

Viral Immunobiology, Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonella Farina
Microorganisms 2021, 9(11), 2191; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9112191
Received: 29 September 2021 / Revised: 12 October 2021 / Accepted: 13 October 2021 / Published: 21 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EBV and Autoimmune Disease)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) for which both genetic and environmental risk factors have been identified. The strongest synergy among them exists between the MHC class II haplotype and infection with the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), especially symptomatic primary EBV infection (infectious mononucleosis) and elevated EBV-specific antibodies. In this review, we will summarize the epidemiological evidence that EBV infection is a prerequisite for MS development, describe altered EBV specific immune responses in MS patients, and speculate about possible pathogenic mechanisms for the synergy between EBV infection and the MS-associated MHC class II haplotype. We will also discuss how at least one of these mechanisms might explain the recent success of B cell-depleting therapies for MS. While a better mechanistic understanding of the role of EBV infection and its immune control during MS pathogenesis is required and calls for the development of innovative experimental systems to test the proposed mechanisms, therapies targeting EBV-infected B cells are already starting to be explored in MS patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: HLA-DRB1*1501; EBNA1; CD4+ T cells; antigen-presenting cell (APC); CD20; humanized mice; lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) HLA-DRB1*1501; EBNA1; CD4+ T cells; antigen-presenting cell (APC); CD20; humanized mice; lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Läderach, F.; Münz, C. Epstein Barr Virus Exploits Genetic Susceptibility to Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 2191. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9112191

AMA Style

Läderach F, Münz C. Epstein Barr Virus Exploits Genetic Susceptibility to Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(11):2191. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9112191

Chicago/Turabian Style

Läderach, Fabienne, and Christian Münz. 2021. "Epstein Barr Virus Exploits Genetic Susceptibility to Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk" Microorganisms 9, no. 11: 2191. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9112191

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